“My beloved speaks.
He says to me.
My fair one!
Now the winter is past.
The rain is over.
The rain is gone.
The flowers appear on the earth.
The time of singing has come.
The voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs.
The vines are in blossom.
They give forth fragrance.
My fair one!
O my dove!
In the clefts of the rock,
In the covert of the cliff,
Let me see your face.
Let me hear your voice.
Your voice is sweet.
Your face is lovely.’”
This female lover recounts the words of her male lover. In a phrase that is repeated twice within a couple of verses, we have that wonderful love request. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away with me! Will she go? Was this request enough to make her leave her home? He tells her why she should do this now. It is springtime. The winter has gone. The rains are gone. The flowers are appearing. The turtledove birds are singing. The fig trees have figs. The vines are blossoming with a sweet smell. It was time to go with him as he repeated the phrases from above. This turtledove lives in the rocks and the cliffs. He wanted to see her lovely face and to hear her sweet voice, a clear presentation of springtime romantic love.
“Let the righteous strike me!
Let the faithful correct me!
Never let the oil of the wicked anoint my head!
My prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.
When they are given over to those who shall condemn them,
Then they shall learn that my words were pleasant.
Like a rock that one breaks apart,
Like a rock that shatters on the land,
So shall their bones be strewn
At the mouth of Sheol.”
David said that the righteous and faithful ones should strike and correct him. However, he would never let the wicked ones anoint his head with oil or praise him in any way. In fact, he prayed continually to avoid wicked deeds. The results for the wicked were condemnation and unpleasant words. David wanted their bones to be like rocks breaking apart and being shattered all over the land so that they would end up at the mouth of the deadly underworld of Sheol.
Remember against the Edomites.
Remember the day of Jerusalem’s fall.
How they said.
‘Tear it down!
Tear it down!
Tear it down to its foundations!’
O daughter Babylon!
Happy shall they be
Those who pay you back
What you have done to us!
Happy shall they be
Those who take your little ones.
They shall dash them against the rock.”
This psalm ends by asking for the destruction of Babylon and its young people. The psalmist wanted to recall the day that the Edomites attacked Jerusalem. They tore down the walls in Jerusalem to its foundations. Now they were wishing evil to the devastated daughters of Babylon, the Babylonian people. They would be happy people when they paid them back for what they had done. In fact, in one of the cruelest curses, this psalmist wanted them to take the Babylonian little children and dash their heads against the rocks. With that somber image, this captivity psalm ends.
“In the trees,
The birds build their nests.
The stork has its home in the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats.
The rocks are a refuge for the badgers.”
The birds build their nests or homes in the various trees. Then there is the mention of 3 specific animals or birds, the stork in the fir tree, the wild goat in the mountains, and the badgers in the rocks. Yahweh created all this.
“Yet they sinned still more against him.
They rebelled against the Most High.
In the desert,
They tested God in their heart.
They demanded the food they craved.
They spoke against God.
‘Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
Even though he had struck the rock
So that water gushed out,
The streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread?
Can he provide meat for his people?
Therefore, when Yahweh heard this,
He was full of rage.
A fire was kindled against Jacob.
His anger mounted against Israel.
They had no faith in God.
They did not trust his saving power.”
This complaint is based on Exodus, chapter 16. The Israelites rebelled against God in the desert. They wanted to test God. They demanded their food. They complained that things were better in Egypt. How was God going to provide food for them in the desert wilderness? They already had water from rocks, but that was not good enough. They also wanted bread and meat. This got Yahweh angry and mad at Jacob that is Israel. They had no faith in God and were not trusting in his saving power.
“Job again took up his discourse.
‘O that I were as in the months of old.
As in the days when God watched over me,
When his lamp shone over my head,
By his light I walked through darkness.
As I was in my prime,
When the friendship of God was upon my tent,
When the Almighty Shaddai was still with me,
When my children were around me,
When my steps were washed with milk,
The rock poured out for me streams of oil!’”
Now it is back to the old complaining Job. Once again this is a solemn discourse, not a mere complaint with his friends. This time he was reminiscing about the “good old days.” God was watching over him as his head had something like a lamp around it. Job was able to walk through darkness because God liked him in his tent. He was in the prime years of his life. The friendship of the almighty Shaddai was still with him. His children were all around him. His steps were washed with milk, while oil gushed out of rocks. In other words, these were metaphors for the fact that he was prosperous and happy.
“They put their hand to the flinty rock.
They overturn mountains by the roots.
They cut out channels in the rocks.
Their eyes see every precious thing.
They probe the sources of the rivers.
Hidden things they bring to light.”
Even the great adventurers and the various inventions of those days do not find wisdom. The invention of fire with flint was a big deal. Overturning mountains was a massive task. Cutting channels in rocks was not easy. They used their eyesight to find precious metals. They even tried to figure out the sources of the rivers. They were looking for hidden items by bringing light to them. These were the adventurers and discoverers of 2,500 years ago. They wanted to know about things and how they worked. Yet they never found wisdom.